The Nubian Word for Flowers
From the Premiere
Concept, Story, and Texts by Ione
Music and Sound by Pauline Oliveros
Above video by Diana Alverez
Announcing the Pocket Edition of The Nubian Word For Flowers February 2020 at NYPL for Performing Arts - at Lincoln Center.
A few Quotes from the Premiere of NWF
"It was, by all accounts, a labor of love from artists who had known and worked with Ms. Oliveros, joined in finishing what she started and honoring her memory." - ZACHARY WOOLFE, NY Times
"Endearingly Ideosyncratic..." "..A labor of love..."
"(a)... warmly felt haunting..."
Zachary Woolfe, NY Times
"Last night was magnificent!!!!! Congratulations!!! My row of feminist musicologiNYsts was in tears. A stunning performance and so immersive and sensory and complex and smart and gorgeous. So much to listen to in my memory of it now on train back to Troy. Thank you and again big congratulations." - Love, Sherrie
"THAT WAS FANTASTIC (and everyone I spoke to thought so). Were you happy with it? . So much love in the room, the air itself was imbued not just with the heady scent of Nubian flowers, but with a collective sense of welcome and good will that in our present day seems to slip further into an imaginary past which may only ever have been that...." - Eric
"A well-deserved standing ovation for Pauline Oliveros and Carole Ione at the world premiere of their work, The Nubian Word for Flowers: A Phantom Opera in Brooklyn last night. This was a truly masterful work, and so moving. To have the ancestors rise and reassure that “we will survive this,” and to revive a colonizer to have him answer for his crimes to the librettist was just brilliant. Wow. Beautiful script by IONE, divine music by Pauline, and sound design by the amazing Senem Pirler (among many other collaborations). Filled with amor. "
"...this important release on Sub Rosa, including two long-lasting pieces. The first one, "Four Meditations for Orchestra", was composed between 1991 and 1997 and features vocalist Ione, who wonderfully interprets those reflections by using different languages and a dramatic vocal transposition ranging between mournful moments, litany, raving ecstasy and onomatopoeia, while Belgian orchestra Musiques Nouvelles sets the sound by a seemingly disassembled technique, where the cohesion between elements is reached after each instrument seems to say something while the other ones prepare the ground, before amalgamating with Ione's voice. " - Vito Camarretta, ChainDLK
The main focus of attention for listeners of “Four Meditations” will likely be the voice of Ione, Oliveros’ long-time collaborator. Though her fellow musicians all make vital contributions, Ione’s vocals are like a bright star around which all other sounds orbit. She’s adept at glossolalia-like stretches of abstract sound, improvising in the same league as expert voice experimenters such as Yoko Ono and C. Spencer Yeh. But her use of literal language is just as important.
At one point Ione slowly intones “I am who I am,” then flips that into “I am who you are,” seeming to comment on music that inverts definitions and blurs boundaries.
Marc Masters, Pitchfork.com
Ione Ione is a noted author, playwright/director and poet whose works include the critically acclaimed memoir, Pride of Family Four Generations of American Women of Color, Listening in Dreams and This is a Dream! Other works include; The Night Train to Aswan and Nile Night: Remembered Texts from the Deep and Spell Breaking; Remembered Ways of Being, and Anthology of Women’s Mysteries.
She is the playwright and director of Njinga the Queen King (BAM’s Next Wave Festival )and the dance Opera Io and Her and the Trouble with Him ( Union Theatre, Madison,WI) The Lunar Opera; Deep Listening For_Tunes. (Lincoln Center Out of Doors), She has created two experimental films, Venezia e L’egitto and Dreams of the Jungfrau. Ione and Pauline Oliveros collaborated on The Nubian Word for Flowers, A Phantom Opera. Encompassing the Nubian Diaspora and the life of Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener of Khartoum, the opera is "a deep dream exploration of Nubian soul and the Colonial Mind". Premiere: 2017 Roulette Intermedium and NWF Pocket Edition, NYPL @Lincoln Center February, 2020. IONE's most recent opera, TOUCH, with composer Karen Power, premiered at Irish National Opera in 2021. Ione is also an improvising sound/text artist who performs in the United States and Internationally.
Ione is the Founding Director of the Ministry of Maåt, Inc ( MoM, Inc) and Former Artistic Director of Deep Listening Institute, Ltd. Both organizations seek to foster a harmonious world community. The recipient of the 2019 Arts Mid Hudson Individual Artists Award and a Certificate of Merit from the General Assembly of the State of New York, She was a member of the Kingston Arts Commission for two years. Currently a Deep Listening Certification Mentor at Center for Deep Listening, Rensselaer, Troy, NY.,her most recent opera, TOUCH, with composer Karen Power, premiered at Irish National Opera in 2021.
Pauline Oliveros-IONE Approaches and Departures - movement IV from Four Meditations for Orchestra (1996) - live at Basilica di Santa Maria dei Servi, AngelicA Festival, Bologna may 28, 2016. Orchestra del teatro Comunale di Bologna - Tonino Battista, conductor; P. Oliveros, v-accordion; Ione, text and voice. youtube.com/watch
Thanks to Walter Rovere
Dialogue with Pauline - Choral tribute to Pauline Oliveros
Residence from January 6 to 12, 2020
Concert Sunday January 12, 2020 at 2 p.m. - Galpon Theater
A Ensemble Vide project, in collaboration with mmmmm and SoundVision
IONE and Lisa Barnard-Kelley performing at Basilica SoundScape 2019 festival. Presented by Basilica Hudson & The Creative Independent
Photo by Samantha Marble for The Creative Independent
Pauline Oliveros and IONE at the XAvant Festival, Toronto, 2016
Photo by Claire Harvie
An Unfinished ‘Phantom Opera’ Is Completed With Love
Pauline Oliveros died last year, leaving “The Nubian Word for Flowers.” The surreal meditation on colonialism that she created with her partner, Ione, debuts on Thursday.
By Thomas May, Nov. 24, 2017, NY Times